Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #75 rice gourd (lost episode March)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During the circumstances at the end of March 2016 I couldn't post the episodes I had planned. So I have decided to bring this month in the Tokubetsudesu episodes, next to Celestine, the two "lost episodes" of "In The Way of Basho".

This week I will bring to you the episode "Rice Gourd", which was planned on March 29th. Maybe you remember that last month we were exploring the Haiku Writing Techniques (HWT) used by Basho. To explain that HWT I used haiku by Basho as translated by Jane Reichhold.

Okay ... let's look at the "lost episode" "Rice Gourd".

The HWT used by Basho for this "lost episode" we have seen earlier in our second series of Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques. It's called "finding the divine in the common". It's a HWT that seems to happen without conscious control. A writer will make a perfectly ordinary and accurate statement about common things, but due to the combination of images and ideas about them, or between them, a truth will revealed about the divine.
Since we all have various ideas about what the divine is, two readers of the same haiku may not find the same truth or revelation in it. Here, again, the reader becomes a writer to find a greater truth behind the words. Here is an example by Basho that makes this HWT very clear.

the one thing
that lights my world
a rice gourd

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Perhaps it helps to know that rice was stored in a dried gourd. To keep it away from mice, the gourd was hung from a rafter. Though this was the time before electricity and light bulbs, Basho already had this comparison. Yet there is also a deeper meaning. The rice gourd's golden yellow color not only brightened the dim room, but the rice in it furnished the energy to maintain his body while endeavoring to reach the goal of enlightenment. One can also see this poem as a riddle: What is the one thing that lights my world?

divine (energy)

This technique, in my opinion, isn't easy to use, but in this explanation by Jane Reichhold (whom I am very grateful that she gave me permission to use all her work) it seems so easy.
It will not be an easy task to create a haiku in which I use this HWT, but I have to try ... of course.

what a mystery
leaves falling year after year
without mourning

© Chèvrefeuille

Did I succeed? I don't know, but in a way I think in this haiku you can find the divine in the common.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 15th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, clouds, later on. For now .... have fun!

I just loved to share an image of our Yorkshire pup, Rocky:


  1. aw ... rocky is so cute! dax would love to romp with the little fella!

  2. One of the deepest haiku I have seen, the falling leaves.